Kenya's Return

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of welcoming Kenya back to my studio for a solo photo shoot. If you follow this blog, you may recognize Kenya from a fashion shoot that I did last year for Humanity, a boutique in Lowell, Massachusetts. Here she is with the whole team. (Kenya is the second from the left.)

Our recent shoot was one of my self-assigned shoots, meaning that it wasn't a fashion shoot, per se, nor a portrait, but rather my opportunity to do some creative lighting, posing and using materials other than digital cameras; things that are not always possible with commercial clients. So here's what we came up with. Thanks Kenya!

Locally-Grown Fashion

Last week Diana Jaye Coluntino stopped by my studio for a photo shoot. Diana, who studied fashion, metalsmithing and sculpture at Mount Ida and MassArt, ultimately teaching at MassArt, spent a decade designing in Venezuela and ended up in Lowell, Massachusetts as the Artistic Director of the Revolving Museum. A number of years ago, Diana founded New Vestures, where she is the Creative Director. 

New Vestures provides “support, space, resources and classes related to the creation of fashion and textile projects”. Located in Lowell, New Vestures recently moved out of their Merrimack Street location into a temporary one in the beautifully renovated 110 Canal Street building, which houses the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub. What a cool location!

I visited Diana yesterday to get a tour of that space, where she is working while waiting for the buildout of New Vestures’ new location to be completed. That new home will be just up the hill, still in the growing Hamilton Canal District, at Mill No. 5. That space, on the building’s 5th floor, just above the city’s cool new retail space on the 4th, will give New Vestures 3000 square feet of work space, not to mention a bunch of big windows overlooking the district.

So here are some of the shots during my tour and the portraits we did in my studio. Thank you Diana and best of luck in your new location!

Stay Tuned for Style!

It may be raining here as I write this, but it was sunny in the studio last month when I was joined by Ani, from Humanity Lowell, a cool little boutique for women on Merrimack Street, my style collaborator Grace, as well as Christa and Monika who clearly lit up the studio with their modeling talents.

We are looking forward to better weather here in Massachusetts that will be allow for another shoot, this time out on location. Watch for our work here in a few short months. Hmm…maybe another studio shoot is in order before then!

Loving Both Sides of the Camera

More often than not, I am at a loss for something to write about in this space. There are some times though that I simply have work to show. Work to show off and to share, that I hope people will find compelling. I am constantly striving to do more significant work because I usually feel that it is competent but not that important. In any event, I do sometimes feel that it is good enough. Digressing... The week before last a colleague of mine, who has moved to Richmond, VA, came back to the Boston area to shoot a couple of weddings and we both wanted to reconnect and, I was hoping, get in a photo shoot. While she is a very talented and up-and-coming wedding and portrait photographer, she also loves to be in front of the camera. That quality in people usually comes through.

This then, is one of those times in which I simply want to share some work with you. Nothing earth-shattering or terribly important from a photographic or story-telling sense, but just some fun photos of a friend on an enjoyable afternoon in the studio. I hope you agree!

The excellent work of Melissa Desjardins, of Desjar Photography, can be found here:



Desjar Photography Goes South

For the last year, I have been fortunate enough to have Melissa Desjardins, of Nashua, NH-based Desjar Photography accompany me on all sorts of photoshoots as my photographic assistant. An excellent photographer in her own right, Melissa will be leaving the area soon to establish herself in Richmond, Virginia. We have had a great time, meeting some really interesting people along the way. Her personality is a great asset on a shoot, helping to make subject feel at ease and always being ready with the lights, stands, and all the rest to make my job easier. She will be missed!


Recently, Merrimack Valley Magazine's finest posed for a photo together. A rare moment indeed!

Photographers Kevin Harkins, Melissa Desjardins and Adrien Bisson - courtesy of Desjar Photography

A few weeks ago I had offered to photograph Melissa for her newly located business. We created a bunch of headshots, environmental portraits and dramatic portraits. Here are the results, or my favorites anyway. This was a fun shoot!

At the moment, I am assuming that Melissa will keep her current web address,, but if that changes, I will update this blog post to the correct address.

What Not to Light

If you want to make something more interesting, it's important to know what not to light. I know that a great photographer said something like that, but I cannot remember who that was or what his or her exact words were. It's a phrase that I think about constantly though. One of my new favorite shadow creator combinations is a beauty dish with a grid. Soft, fairly large, but most of all, very constrained. I would say it is easily disciplined.

Here are a couple of my favorites from a shoot that my friend and client Ed and I did earlier this week. Ed is a retired accounting professor and an up-and-coming actor and singer. We created hundreds of actor headshots, but once those were in the can, we worked on some additional dramatic, less traditional shots.

Got Style

I have just finished a couple of very intense weeks of shooting and am trying to collect my thoughts and analyze what parts of that work really 'worked' for me. What was it on a particular assignment that felt right, or didn't?

It's really about style. Do I have one? What is it like? I know that there are things that I want to show and say, and when I shoot, if I have those things in my mind and am successful in making photographs that bring those things to life, I am happy. I know that I have done something. I know that that's my style. It may not be my style a few years from now, nor was it my style a few years ago, but it is today. I need to have a connection to the idea and to the subject and the rest is making art.

That's why I love to work with subjects and clients who want me to create photographs for them that are in my style. It's simply a matter of creating the environment and working with the subject to make my ideas into reality. I'm happy, and when they see the results, they are happy. That's what it's about.

If you're being hired because you are a photographer, but the client is simply looking for a commodity shot, and not what floats your boat, take your life jacket! (sorry ;-) You may be a capable, competent professional, but if it's not the kind of work that you feel is your style, think twice. It will probably work out perfectly well! But will you be happy?

This is why we specialize. Right? You want your visibility to reflect where you want to go, not wherever you might have been, unless of course you've been on the right track for a while. I don't think Coca-Cola is inclined to show images of their famous mistake, "New Coke", in their marketing materials. Like most/all photographers, we have have several of those efforts somewhere on our hard drives, but they probably should stay there. Your style is you and you want people to want you to create for them what you do best. I like to create interesting, informal studio portraits in my small space in Lowell, but I also really enjoy location portraits, which anyone who does this kind of shooting knows, come with a whole bunch of logistical fun, but the results can be worth it many times over. But it's important that I show that kind of work because it is my style, what I love to shoot, and what I want people to want me to create for them.